It’s that time of year where people are looking for love or a companion.
Though online dating is a convenient way to meet that special someone, it’s also a convenient way for scammers to target you.
These scams are called ‘Romance Scams.’
Mara Clingingsmith with the Quincy Better Business Bureau says this isn’t a quick scam.
The scammer will take weeks, months, or even years talking to their victim.
It all starts when you meet someone online and become fast friends.
Then the conversation will leave that public site and turn to a more private one like texting, email, or webcamming.
Over time this person gains your trust and you’ll think you’ve finally met that special someone.
That is when the scam presents itself.
“It starts with a story about whether they’re struggling with a car payment or they’re traveling and they have a child that needs some help and they start to ask you for money. That should be a red flag. Sending money off to someone that you’ve never met is never a good thing,” said Mara Clingingsmith.
There are other things to look for to keep yourself safe when looking for love.
Another red flag to watch out for is poor spelling or grammar.
Also take the time and double check the pictures they send.
A simple Google image search will show you if the image has been stolen from another site.
If you can spot these things, you’ll avoid heartbreak.
“These people are highly trained to get your trust, to gain your trust, to make you feel loved and wanted, and give you all that attention so they are very, very good. It’s easy to fall for that if you’re lonely or looking for a life partner. It can be very devastating, very emotional for the person when they realize they’ve been scammed,” added Clingingsmith.
The BBB shows that romance scams have already taken enough money.
$884 million dollars in the U.S. from 2015 and 2017 to be exact.